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Vagabond Butterfly - West Ind Ocean


Vagabond Butterfly - West Ind Ocean
Chaetodon decussatus
Place of origin: 
Western Indian Ocean
Northern Indian Ocean, and to Flores. Coastal reef flats and slopes. Adults pair, juveniles solitary. Closely related to Chaetodon vagabundus and mixed pair was photographed in Blai, but differs in colouration, with most of dorsal to anal fins black and caudal fin with black vertical bands. Length to 20cm.

The members of the family Chaetodontidae, popularly know as butterflyfishes, coralfishes and bannerfishes. Most species of butterflyfish live in the warm tropical seas of the Indo-Pacific (about 90%) with the remainder in the Atlantic. Only a few species are found in subtropical waters, bordering onto subtemperate zones. The butterflyfish have a highly compressed body in which the back is raised , forming an elongate-oval to near circular shape in some; a small protactible mouth with brush-like teeth in the jaws; a continuous dorsal fin with strong and sharp spines in the anterior section, followed by a large-surface soft part; an anal fin mirroring the soft part of the dorsal fin , headed by 3-5 strong spines, of which the 2nd is often greatly enlarged.

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